Hello, I am a scientist suffering from adult onset eczema for the past 6 years. It began as a simple itch on the neck during exam week, and then it slowly spread to my entire neck, wrists, and elbows. I’ve always had mild eczema on my elbows that came and went when I was growing up. Perhaps it suggests a certain level of predisposition to more severe eczema triggered by the stress of University. Also, some time during these past 6 years I went on the drug Accutane for acne which may have contributed to even drier and consequently more vulnerable skin. In the long run, I don’t think Accutane made my eczema worse except that it gave me facial eczema.
In terms of treatments, I’ve been using a combination of Topical Steroids and Elidel to control my eczema, which became less effective over these 6 years. When I told the doctor that my eczema was worsening, he only suggested that I apply topical steroids more frequently. Then one day, everything clicked together when I came across Red Skin Syndrome. I began to question whether my life long battle had really been caused or made worse by topical steroids. If I do indeed have it, I think it’s very interesting because I would probably represent a less severe case given I’ve only used 0.2% hydroval and went out of my way to ensure that I only used it when I needed it (i.e during a flare) due to my fear of wrinkles and skin thinning side-effects.
One reason I am here is because I have very dry skin that is unable to keep moisture in for long periods. I thought I could share what products I have tried over the years that have worked for very dry and sensitive skin. I also wanted to document my journey on topical steroid withdrawal. In the event that I do actually have it, I will hopefully be able to see improvements in a few months or years. I hope that somewhere along the way, my experience will be useful to someone else suffering with eczema.